The last two Abu Sayyaf terrorists that raided Bohol Island in an apparent bid to kidnap tourists have been killed.
More than a month after the incursion on April 10, Abu Ubayda and another member identified only as “Asis” were killed in a pursuit operation yesterday (Monday, May 15).
Both died from bullet wounds in the head. Ubayda was said to be unrecognisable after he was repeatedly shot in the face.
The raid, which was believed to be part of a plan to kidnap tourists from a resort on Easter Sunday, was foiled after residents tipped off police that 10 militants had arrived on three boats.
The military were swift to respond, and a gun battle ensued on April 12, leaving three terrorists dead, including their leader, Abu Rami.
The remaining militants fled and holed up inside a cave.
However, their hiding place was discovered on April 22 after a motorcycle taxi driver tipped off police about a particularly smelly passenger who was acting suspiciously.
Another clash broke out, leading to the deaths of four more terrorists, including Joselito Melloria, a sub-leader of the Islamic State-affiliated group who was a native of Bohol and guided the group.
Another terrorist, Saad Kiram, was arrested after breaking cover and asking some villagers for food on May 4.
However, he was shot the next day, in what police say was an escape attempt.
On May 10, the police and the military cordoned off Pangangan Island after receiving reports of sightings of the last two terrorists.
Yesterday morning, Hilario Toloy and his seven-year-old son were gathering seashells near a mangrove forest when the bandits appeared and demanded food at gunpoint. The boy was taken hostage to ensure the father’s return with food.
After he had returned with rice and catfish stewed in vinegar for the terrorists, his wife reported that her husband and son were being held captive.
Word reached the army, and a gun battle soon broke out. The father and son escaped unharmed, and the terrorists made it to a nearby village where they stole a resident’s motorbike.
However, they didn’t make it very far before they ran into a police checkpoint. At this point they escaped again on foot, and ran back into the two-hectare mangrove forest.
Here they were cornered by government troops and killed.
Army spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said no government troops had been hurt in recent operations.